And the cycle continues. Someone is offered a high profile job or position. Other people, for no apparent reason, decide to punish him by mining his social media accounts for offensive comments from the ancient past. Outrage ensues. Apologies are issued. Jobs are lost. On and on, unto eternity.
This time it was comedian Kevin Hart’s turn in the stockades. He was hired to host the Oscars, and then forced to give up the gig days later when “homophobic” jokes from years ago were dredged up. Hart initially refused to apologize, explaining that he’d already apologized in the past and didn’t feel it necessary to repeat himself. That admirable stand didn’t last long. Hours later, he stepped down and issued yet another “sincere apology to the LGBTQ community.”
What were these terribly hurtful and repugnant comments for which Kevin Hart must offer ritual supplications? Apparently he jokingly used a gay slur a few times on Twitter about a decade ago. But the primary source of outrage seems to be a bit from a stand-up special in 2010 where he said that he doesn’t want his son to be gay:
One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will. Now with that being said, I don’t know if I handled my son’s first gay moment correctly. Every kid has a gay moment but when it happens, you’ve got to nip it in the bud!
It seems there are two ways to interpret these statements uttered on stage by a comedian during a stand up act:
1) It’s a joke. Comedians tell jokes.
2) It’s the honest opinion of a man expressing his own parental fears.
I suppose it could also be a combination of the two. Either way, it makes no sense to be offended by it. If it’s just a joke, it should be taken in that spirit. If it’s an honest reflection of his views at the time, there’s nothing to do but accept it. Every father has his own fears, desires, and priorities with respect to his children. You don’t need to agree. Who cares if you do?
Perhaps Hart didn’t want his son to be gay because he wanted a biological grandchild to carry on the name and the bloodline. Perhaps he’d taken seriously the claims that gay people are bullied and persecuted in this country and he didn’t want his own child to experience that. Perhaps his concern was religious or moral. Whatever the case, it’s his view, his feeling. It’s absurd to demand an apology for it.
As for the rest of the “homophobic” comments Hart made years ago, he had already addressed them and moved on. He should not be forced to continue groveling before the LGBT lobby in hopes of earning their forgiveness. But mostly, he didn’t need to apologize, and should not have apologized, because the people demanding the apology are disingenuous, manipulative bullies. They were not “hurt” by his comments. There was no sincere offense taken. They went looking for offense. They dug the offense up from the bowels of the internet, dusted it off and put it on display again. And why? For what reason? Justice? Fairness? Tolerance? No, this is pure spite, pure vengeance.
Everyone needs to understand what’s happening here, or it will never stop. The outrage mob is not outraged. They are not hurt or offended or sad or aggrieved. Even if they were, who cares? But they aren’t. This is a game to them. We need to stop playing along. Stop surrendering to them. Stop caving. Stop apologizing, even if you were in the wrong. Apologize to God if your conscience is truly stricken. Not to these bullies. They don’t deserve it.